Do Goats Sleep Standing Up?

Do Goats Sleep Standing Up

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One rarely sees a goat sleeping, it is now a belief of many that goats do not sleep at all. It is not true obviously but little is known about the sleeping habits and posture of the goats. Do goats sleep standing up like some other livestock animals?

Though goats do not undergo heavy sleep, however, they sleep tightly. However, it is still a mystery for many aspiring or would-be livestock owners how goats sleep.

If they stand while sleeping, how do their legs seem to work?

Do Goats Sleep Standing Up?

Many animals sleep standing up but a goat is not one of them. Goats prefer lying down and their legs are not designed to support their body weight while sleeping.

They lie down to sleep with their legs curled up or stretched and their body in an upright position.

Being a prey species, they sleep in this certain position to get on their feet if there is a predator close by.

When goats snooze, they sleep in a certain sleeping position that makes it easier for them to move when waking up from a threat.

Why Do Not Goats Sleep Standing Up?

Unlike horses and animals that sleep standing up, goats do not have a lock or stay apparatus in their legs.

This apparatus is a special system of tendons and ligaments that locks the major joints in the legs to keep the animal from falling.

Over the years, goats have evolved different traits like other prey animals to escape predators.

Their Sleeping posture is one such trait that allows them to get up quickly in an instant at any sign or sound of danger.

How Do Goats Sleep?

The reason you do not see goats sleeping much is that they only need 5 hours of sleep. They choose to nap periodically, in short intervals during the day.

Considering their status as prey animals, they have developed excellent senses that stay sharp and alert even while sleeping. They wake up even with the sound of footsteps.

They sleep upright which does not seem relaxing, however, they bend their neck in different odd positions to get comfortable.

Goats, being incredibly social animals, barely live alone. They sleep close to their companions and often use each other as pillows.

Some goats sleep with stretched-out necks and their heads lying flat on the ground while others tuck their heads against their chest.

Sometimes, they sleep with their head upright or toss their heads back to rest against their spine. They usually sleep with their legs tucked underneath while maintaining the instinctive curl.

Goats usually find a blind or sheltered spot to sleep, away from other animals. Domesticated or farmed goats sleep longer than wild goats because of the safer environment.

Reasons Why Goats Doze Off While Standing

Sometimes, goats refuse to lie down and take short naps without changing their normal position.

Though it is not normal for goats to sleep standing up, there could be several reasons for this:

  • Sickness: Goats suffering from any sickness or injuries refuse to lie down to sleep. Goats are reluctant to lie on their stomach because of abdominal discomfort or bloating. They opt to relax by napping while standing or lying flat on their sides. If the goat’s stomach is swollen from bloating, consult a veterinarian immediately as the goat may die if left untreated. If the goat is showing any signs of sickness like pained sounds, shivering, pale gums, standing with their backs hunched, isolate it from the herd and contact the vet.
  • Expectant Goats: Pregnancy makes the goats uncomfortable as they get bigger, it becomes hard to sleep in their common sleeping position. Sleep patterns are also somewhat disturbed. They snooze while standing, however, because of the lack of stay apparatus, there is a chance of toppling over. They also sleep on their sides to relax, however, it takes a bit longer to get up. Nothing much can be done for the expectant goats finding it hard to nap, except, you can sympathize with them.
  • Development of Unusual Sleeping Pattern: Like humans, not all goats are alike, they have distinct personalities and develop weird habits and unusual sleeping patterns and positions. Some old, lazy goats do not care much about how they should sleep. They sleep upright and take short naps while standing. Baby goats who are still learning new behaviors and experiencing the outside world may try to sleep while standing.


Goats are not one of the few animals that can sleep while standing. Goats find a comfortable spot, lie down, take a power nap, and get going. They sleep about 5 hours a day in short intervals. Some odd goats with strange sleeping habits may try to doze off without lying down or changing their normal position.

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